Every single person who trusts us to capture their memories is a blessing. I don't want to take away from any photo session or client you've had the privilege to work with; however, it's true that some shoots will excite you more than others. Sometimes you'll be on your way to a session and be so excited for the creative opportunities that lay before you. Sometimes...not so much. But it is fully possible to attract and book clients and sessions that will excite you. When you figure out how to do that - that's the sweet spot in business. What's the saying? "If you enjoy what you do, you'll never work a day in your life." Let's make your business more about enjoyment and less about work. It's totally possible! Keep reading for my five tips to help you book shoots that will excite you!
1. Nail down what you want to book.
Have you ever seen a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that has signs on the windows for "burgers, gyros, tacos, wings!" ...Okay, I love variety, but when a restaurant focuses on that many different kinds of foods, it makes you question the quality. If I want a burger, I'd much rather go to a place that specializes in burgers. Seems like they'd have the better burger. (I have to thank Amy and Jordan Demos for that awesome illustration). Get specific about what you want to be doing. Niching down helps attract the right people. And if you're not sure what you want to be shooting just yet? Shoot lots of different things! You'll start figuring out what you enjoy most.
2. Write out in detail who your target audience is.
Again, get specific. What do they like? What do they dislike? What are they looking for? What are their pain points? What do they do for fun? What colors do they like? What's their ideal date night? I don't know - just get specific! The more you know, the better you can do the next step.
3. Speak to them with everything you post.
Speak to your target audience. Address their pain points. Maybe they're planning a wedding and are stressed about making a timeline to get good photos. YOU can help them with that. This will establish your credibility and attract them to you.
4. Become good at curating your photos and sharing only what you want to attract and book.
If you want to be booking intimate weddings, stop posting photos of babies (and the other way around - you get the point). You have to condition your audience. When they see something that resonates with them, they'll be more likely to book. When they can envision themselves in your posts, they'll be more likely to book. Post pictures of what you want to book. Talk about what you want to book. Blog about what you want to book. Let people know. The two photos above were taken in Raleigh where I'm based. But guess what. I love mountains. I've done one wedding in the western North Carolina mountains, and it was such a joy to be a part of. Well, I found a place in Raleigh that kiiind of looks like it could be in the mountains. So I post and share those photos and rave about them to condition my audience to know what I like, to attract an audience that likes similar things, and to show my audience how beautiful their photos can be out in nature. So what can you do if you don't have much content of things you want to be booking? Read on, friend.
5. Go out and create those things you want to book even if you’re not getting paid for them at first.
Sometimes shooting for free gets a bad rap. There is nothing wrong with shooting for free especially when you're building a business and brand you'll love and be excited about! If you want to be working with couples, find a couple and ask if they want some free photos. Help style them in a way that speaks to your target audience so you can get plenty of images that will help you with that number 4 tip - curating your photos.
I hope these tips are helpful as you grow your photo biz and book more of your dream shoots! If you ever have questions for me, I love hearing from you. Seriously, just reach out on my Contact page!